My plan for 2017 wine from California grapes

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jgmann67

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With a batch of wine from fresh grapes under my belt from 2016, I have an idea for a Bordeaux blend wine using fresh California juice and grapes this fall. Doing the math now:

6 gallons of Cab juice.
3 lugs (110 lbs) of Cab grapes.
3 lugs of Merlot grapes.
2 lugs (72 lbs) of Petit Verdot (or a Cab Franc or Malbec).

That will make about 23 gallons of wine (shy of 10 cases), I think.

I'm thinking of doing a "left bank" blend - a wine of 60-65% cab, 25-30% merlot and 5-10% PV. Blending would happen after the wines have finished and cleared. I can fiddle till I find the right mix, blend and bottle... then bottle the scraps (probably what's left of the merlot and PV) separately.

Age the wine at least 3 years and it should be just about ready to drink. Probably $700 for all the juice, grapes, yeast, and oak (that's about $6.10/bottle... not bad).

With 7 wines in different stages of finishing, and one more kit on deck, I'm done buying kits for this year. Will be saving my nickels to make this plan happen.
 

Boatboy24

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Time to get some barrels! ;)

Dad and I are doing 3 lugs each of Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Malbec. Pinot will stand on its on, as the Malbec likely will as well. Will probably blend some Merlot w/ the Cab Franc and bottle the rest on its own.
 

jgmann67

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Time to get some barrels! ;)

Dad and I are doing 3 lugs each of Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Malbec. Pinot will stand on its on, as the Malbec likely will as well. Will probably blend some Merlot w/ the Cab Franc and bottle the rest on its own.

Barrels are a great idea. What's a 20 gallon run? I worry that puts a hole in my budget that I can't fill. If this takes, I can do a better long term plan for 2018.
 
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Ajmassa

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That's a great plan and I'd be excited too. I will be following along with your posts as this season approaches.
I haven't put tons of thought into the process yet, but I had a similar plan with some differences. I will be going for a super Tuscan. Maybe 65% Sangiovese and merlot and cabsav making up the other 35%. For 15 gallons.
Original thought was to crush all the grapes and ferment together from the jump. Letting the wines develop and mature together.
Is the 6 gal juice pale rather than all grapes for saving a few bucks ? That thought didn't cross my mind until just read your post. All grapes can become expensive.
 

Ron0126

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Where will you buy your grapes?
 

jgmann67

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Yep - Harford is close, quality is very good, prices are okay and they destem and crush for a small fee.

@AJ - yes. Juice pale helps cut down on the cost a bit (I got 7 gallons of wine from 3 lugs of grapes). I wouldn't do a red pale without a couple lugs of grapes to go with it, though.

A two grape field blend is prett common. Only problem with blending up front is you could wind up with 15 gallons of "I wish I blended this differently."

I'll need another brute container to pull off what I'm planning. I'll have one for the merlot and one for the cab. I can probably do the PV or CF in a 6gal bucket and transfer to a 3gal carbon when I press.

You can really go wrong with a Super Tuscan, though. [emoji41]
 
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Ajmassa

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You can really go wrong with a Super Tuscan, though. [emoji41]

How so? Why are you messing with my head now? Lol. I was all pumped for a Super Tuscan.
The blend has basically no rules. With Sangiovese merlot cabsav or syrah. My biggest concern was when to blend. Blending right at crush would just be easier and less to stress over I figured. What's the common screw ups with it?
 

jgmann67

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How so? Why are you messing with my head now? Lol. I was all pumped for a Super Tuscan.
The blend has basically no rules. With Sangiovese merlot cabsav or syrah. My biggest concern was when to blend. Blending right at crush would just be easier and less to stress over I figured. What's the common screw ups with it?

Sorry - typo. You really CAN'T go wrong with a ST. Should wear my glasses when posting. [emoji41]

The only concern with a field blend like you're talking about is getting to the end and wishing you'd done a different blend.
 
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heatherd

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I am planning to get juice and grapes from Harford this fall as well, but that's as far as I have gone with the plan.

Likely I will go with:
-Cal. Sauvignon blanc
-Cal. Pinot noir
-Cal. Chenin blanc
-Cal. Cabernet sauvignon
-Maryland Vidal
 

jgmann67

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Saw the ad in Winemaker Magazine for Musto grapes. Looks like the usual stuff from California (grapes and juice) and Italy (juice). An interesting add on this is is grapes from The Yak in Washington. Oh, decisions decisions.
 

Ajmassa

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Saw the ad in Winemaker Magazine for Musto grapes. Looks like the usual stuff from California (grapes and juice) and Italy (juice). An interesting add on this is is grapes from The Yak in Washington. Oh, decisions decisions.

I saw this ad as well. I've purchased from Musto before and had an issue and needed to deal with customer service. They were amazing. Very personable. Hand wrote a note in my package for me and threw in a bunch of stickers. Great company [emoji106]
But why not just get your grapes or juice from your local distributor Harford? Isn't musto only selling their sourced juices and grapes at their location? I was under the impression they only allowed online ordering for specific items. And all those different vineyards listed in the ad are what they are bringing in to their location to sell in person.
 

jgmann67

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I saw this ad as well. I've purchased from Musto before and had an issue and needed to deal with customer service. They were amazing. Very personable. Hand wrote a note in my package for me and threw in a bunch of stickers. Great company [emoji106]
But why not just get your grapes or juice from your local distributor Harford? Isn't musto only selling their sourced juices and grapes at their location? I was under the impression they only allowed online ordering for specific items. And all those different vineyards listed in the ad are what they are bringing in to their location to sell in person.

I'm still going to Hartford - it's close and a good value. I'm just hoping that Hartford sources from Musto and will have the expanded selections from Washington, too.
 

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